Politically Speaking: St. Louis County Councilman Trakas On The Council’s Growing Divide | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: St. Louis County Councilman Trakas On The Council’s Growing Divide

May 12, 2020

St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The south St. Louis County Republican joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the split between the council’s Republican and Democratic members.

Trakas was elected to represent the council’s 6th District in 2016. It includes a part of largely unincorporated south St. Louis, which means that he has a large say in many of the development and zoning decisions for the area.

Here’s what Trakas discussed during the show:

  • The reasons behind an increasingly noticeable split on the council between Democratic and Republican members, particularly on fiscal matters. Most recently, the council divided over whether to give St. Louis County Executive Sam Page power to spend federal coronavirus money.
  • Why he parted ways with Page on some issues, especially since both men were key allies in helping stymie then-County Executive Steve Stenger’s agenda before Stenger resigned and went to prison in 2019.
  • The easing of the county’s stay-at-home order, particularly whether that move will be effective without a subsequent expansion of child care availability.
  • His take on whether Republicans should cross over in the Democratic primary for county executive. 

An attorney, Trakas had never run for public office before 2016. He ran in an open race for the 6th District against former state Rep. Patricia Yaeger, a Democrat who had support from elected officials and labor unions. Trakas ended up winning by a small margin, and he became the first Republican to represent the district since 2008.

Trakas will be up for re-election later this year. He’ll face the winner of a Democratic primary among state Rep. Bob Burns, Alex Lange and Venki Palamand.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Ernie Trakas on Twitter: @ErnieTrakas

Music: “Royal” by Deftones